Sharp to slash 5,000 jobs for first time since end of World War II

City A.M. Reporter
SHARP yesterday announced a 94bn yen operating loss for the June quarter and revealed plans for its first job cuts in more than 60 years as Japan’s electronics industry scrambles to keep up with foreign competitors.

Sharp said it would cut 5,000 jobs – around 10 per cent of its workforce – as it attempts to reduce costs as it struggles with weakening global demand for TVs and competition from rivals led by Samsung.

They are the firm’s first job cuts since the economic confusion that followed Japan’s defeat in World War Two. “We are in a really tough situation. We will restructure and speed up our decision making,” said Sharp president Takashi Okuda.

Sharp, which posted its worst net loss in a century in the last financial year, reported a first-quarter loss as waning TV demand and an overcapacity at its main liquid crystal display plant continued to weigh on earnings.

In the three months to 30 June, Sharp swung to an operating loss of 94.1bn yen from a 3.5bn yen profit a year earlier. That was deeper than the average 44.4bn yen average loss expected by analysts.

The manufacturer of Aquos TVs also slashed its forecast to a full-year operating loss of 100bn yen, from its earlier estimate for an operating profit of 20bn yen.